BATON ROUGE, La. (Legal Newsline) - The State of Louisiana is suing the maker of a congestive heart failure medication over allegations that the company prevented generic versions of the drug from going to the market.

Louisiana Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell filed the lawsuit in 19th Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Baton Rouge on March 28 against AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, claiming the company violated state antitrust laws when it prevented a generic form of Toprol-XL from hitting the marketplace. The defendant removed the case to federal court in Baton Rouge in April.
The drug treats angina, hypertension and congestive heart failure. The lawsuit said AstraZeneca filed “baseless patent infringement lawsuits," manipulated patent filings and attempted to “monopolize the domestic market for Toprol-XL and its generic bioequivalents.”

Caldwell claims the state was damaged by AstraZeneca's actions because Louisiana paid or reimbursed patients for the drugs or its generic equivalent. Caldwell also stated the company omitted information to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in order to receive a patent for the drug.

Caldwell is seeking and unspecified amount of damages against AstraZeneca. The State is represented by Keetsie T. Gunnels, Nicholas J. Diez and Stacie Deblieux from the Attorney General's Office.

Also representing the State are several private firms. They are Shows, Cali & Walsh of Baton Rouge; Salim Beasley of Natchitoches, La.; Meade Law of New Orleans; Motley Rice of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; Morrow Morrow Ryan & Bassett in Opelousas, La.; Kanner & Whiteley in New Orleans; Hammonds, Sills, Adkins & Guice of Baton Rouge; Usry, Weeks & Mathews of New Orleans; and Davillier Law Group of New Orleans.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana case number 3:15-cv-00274

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